Kalgachia

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Garden of Kalgachia
Flag of Kalgachia
Flag
Coat of Arms of Kalgachia
Coat of Arms
Motto: Quod Superius, Sicut Inferius
(As Above, So Below)
Anthem: Kalgachia, Our Gratitude to You
Location of Kalgachia
Map versions 16.0.0 onwards
Capital Oktavyan
Largest city Abrek, Katarsis, Jollity, Schlepogora, Bergburg, Lithead
Official language(s) Benacian English (official)
Benacian Yiddish
Laqi
Nezeni
Official religion(s) Ketherism
Demonym Kalgachi
 - Adjective Kalgachi
Government Gnostic Chthonarchy
 - Executive Council of Perfecti
 - Chairman Falcifer X. Yastreb
 - Legislature Council of Perfecti
Establishment 143 Anno Libertatis
(1649 AN; June 7th 2017)
 - Ranked -
Area ~720,000 sq.km
 - Ranked -
Population ~18,500,000
 - Active -
 - Ranked -
Currency Kalgarrand
Abbreviation KAL
National website -
National forum -
National animal Oreamnos Benacianus
(Benacian mountain goat)

Crotalinus Monticola
(mountain pit viper)

National food Mutton Roast
Goat Cheese Bliny
National drink Stalemate Gin
Schlepogorskaya Vodka
National tree Juniperus Litovinus
(Litovine juniper)

For more about Kalgachia, check out the Kalgachia Category - If you're just here for the literature, check out Tales from Kalgachia.

The Garden of Kalgachia is a territory located in the Octavian mountains of west-central Benacia. It was established by refugee elements of the Minarborian church during that empire's collapse, and is governed under an evolution of that church's belief system known as Ketherism. Historical processes before and during Kalgachia's emergence have made it into a multi-ethnic state whose combination of peoples, by gradual state-incentivised interbreeding, are slowly blending into a distinct ethnicity which has earned the non-scientific name Homo Kalgachiensis in jestful discourse, bureaucratic shorthand and propaganda.

Being one of Micras' few landlocked nations and almost entirely surrounded by Shireroth, with whom it has a fractious historical relationship, the Kalgachi government and wider society jealously guard their sovereignty and material self-reliance to a degree which willingly accepts the resulting economic and political hardships. Having inherited the greater share of Minarboria's cultural and scientific legacy, Kalgachia considers itself to be the last viable manifestation of 'Alternative Civilisational Space' on the Benacian continent, the society which the hegemonic force known as the Kalirion Supremacy has been the least successful in penetrating. The cultural divergence arising from this wilful insularity, framed in religious terms as the Cultivation of the Garden, is predicted to grow wider over the course of successive generations.

Geography and Climate

Topography

Kalgachia's topography is predominantly mountainous, this relief being most pronounced around Mount Octavian and its surrounding peaks which are untraversable without climbing equipment and remain frozen throughout the year. A similar but smaller area exists in Kalgachia's northwest which is capped by the country's second-highest mountain, the Splatterhorn. Between these summits run a series of steep ridges which form Kalgachia's central spine, following a rough east-west course whose western reaches are frequently broken or twisted by their position on a corner of the Central Benacian Subduction Boundary. This area has a moderate level of seismic activity, with regular recorded tremors and a profusion of geothermal springs whose heat energy is widely exploited for the generation of electrical power. From its central heights, Kalgachia's landscape becomes steadily less steep and less high towards the national frontier although this trend is occasionally broken by localised sub-ranges and ancient volcanic plugs, especially in the east. Elsewhere, domed summits and deep valleys predominate along with short escarpments and gorges.

Weather

Being at the boundary of two continental weather systems, Kalgachia's climate is violently variable. During the summer it is dominated by temperate, maritime weather originating from the southern shores of the Cosimo Sea which invariably cause heavy rainfall to the south of Kalgachia's central heights and a more pleasantly dry mildness in the north, although the latter's region's rain shadow effect has a deleterious effect on agricultural yields and compels a strict adherence to dryland farming methods.

During the winter months the Cosimo weather system retreats toward the Micran equator, drawing into its place a bone-chilling arctic cold from the Amokolian tundra and coating Kalgachia in varying depths of snow. The blocking presence of the Kalgachi highlands moderates the worst of this icy blast in the Kalgachi south, extending both ends of that region's growing season by months in comparison with the frozen north.

The rivers of Kalgachia are highly variable in flow rate according to season - this cyclical transition between feeble trickle and raging rapids makes them practically unnavigable to boats and freshwater fish alike, although some lowland stretches will permit passage by sufficiently-skilled canoeists.

Biomic Engineering

Due to its rough topography, difficult climate and provincial isolation from the various powers which have nominally governed it throughout history, Kalgachia's flora was originally limited to patches of coniferous lowland forest and wind-stunted scrub - the most famous of the latter being Kalgachia's official plant, the juniper - but the biomic legacy of the Deep Singers of Minarboria, along with subsequent initiatives by the Kalgachi government, have had a transformative effect upon Kalgachia's south, its frontier regions and its river valleys. The Kalgachi southwest, being a stronghold of the Deep Singers and their descendant genotypes, has been cultivated in the fashion of a 'forest garden' since the Minarborian era - in this region, generations of folk knowledge have created a patchwork of timber forest mixed with species bearing fruit, nuts and other wild edibles, all selected for sufficient hardiness to survive the Kalgachi winter and yield food and material from terrain previously considered barren.

Although cultural and climatic conditions in the rest of Kalgachia prevent a wholesale adoption of southwestern agricultural practices, the lower stretches of rivers nationwide are lined with irrigated and intensively-worked arable land, overlooked by highland scrub which is grazed by hardy sheep and goats. The imperative of feeding Kalgachia's population of over eighteen million people with severely limited reserves of farmland has caused every possible scrap of tillable soil and pasture to be exploited to its fullest potential.

The patchy forest of Kalgachia's frontier regions has been linked into a single belt by a government forestry programme, for the dual purpose of increasing the national timber reserves and providing shelter for refugees and resistance fighters in wartime. Following the example and advice of Kalgchia's southwestern agriculturalists, care has been taken to maintain diversity between tree species for resistance to disease, pestilence and/or hostile deployment of chemical defoliants. The very edge of this immense forest belt, upon the national frontier itself, is lined with 'predatory flora' of genetically-engineered Deep Singer origin (most notoriously the Dreadnettle, Sharpshooter Primrose and Shrapnel Lily) which is maintained and contained by Kalgachi border guards. As part of this 'biomic minefield', sections of the Kalgachi frontier are also designated reserves for hazardous engineered fauna, most notably the feared Tyrannocricetus aliger.

Lepidopterum

Being the furthest territory from Kalgachia's mountain core, the southwestern lands known as Lepidopterum are distinctly different from any other part of Kalgachia and a consistent exception to its usual geography. Lepidopterum's most salient feature is its relative flatness, along with its tree cover which is the thickest in Kalgachia and sufficiently immense to increase the humidity of the local climate through transpiration. This results in an uncomfortable amplification of the area's seasonal temperature variation in the form of a suffocating, near-tropical heat in summer and a penetrating moist cold in winter. Being host to Kalgachia's largest reserve of Tyrannocricetus aliger (collectively named the Litovine Forest), much of Lepidopterum is uninhabitable by humans who limit their presence in the region to a central corridor supported by subsistence horticulture, their work being invariably limited to the maintenance of the area's rudimentary infrastructure or the management of the Litovine Forest and its creatures.

Social Origins

With the thinning of the necromantic ley lines which kept its undead ruling caste animated, the Empire of Minarboria entered a state of progressive collapse from around 124 Anno Libertatis. by 140 AL this process of aesthenic degeneration was largely complete. In the absence of central direction from the Minarborian capital Sansabury, whose leadership had succumbed to a crisis of faith (the ruling Regent was last seen slumped sullenly against the bar of the city's elite Ouroboros Club, swigging Tellian amaretto straight from the bottle and looking across the adjacent dance floor as the Deep Singer in charge of the Church of Minarbor swayed endlessly to a slow disco number while lost in the memory of better days), those inhabitants of the surrounding Imperial Shrublands who had not succumbed to energetic torpor looked to the one authority which offered some continuity of governance - namely the junior clergy of the Minarborian church whose jollity and common charity had instinctively moved on a local level to fill the gap left by the collapse of the lich state. Their previous authority was, however, undermined by the despair of their congregations that the all-loving shrub Minarbor whom they had assumed an infallible god had quite evidently forsaken his faithful followers and abandoned his well-tended Garden to the vicissitudes of common wilderness. In many places, Minarbor's clergy were set upon and lynched by their previously-loyal bands of armed partisans who subsequently fell under the control of their own emerging warlords and were set to interminable and bloody feuding with similar groups as they competed for the unguarded spoils of the fallen Minarborian Empire. In time this state of affairs enveloped the once-gleaming condo districts of Sansabury itself and annihilated the last shreds of civil authority, although the soundtrack remained eerily consistent to the point that the entire corpus of 4/4 signature dance music persisted in folk memory for generations as a distasteful reminder of that fraught and desperate time.

Many Minarborian clergy, however, succeeded in demonstrating humility to their congregations with frank admissions that perhaps the shrub Minarbor was not as godly as he seemed, this denial of his omnipotence allowing them to explain that circumstances had developed beyond his control and that his gentle rustling countenance would never have meant for things to end up as they had. This precious re-consecrated fragment of the old worldview, along with the more enterprising clergy visibly throwing themselves into the material assistance of their upset congregations, offered a rare filament of hope among the general chaos of the time although these pious bands found themselves beset on all sides by other groups who had long since kicked the bloodied corpses of their own priesthood into innumerable ravines and were now only interested in territorial scrapping and oppurtunistic plunder. This imperative of self-defence, not only against against roving bandits but also the ferocious Tee-al which no longer had a Minarborian army to contain its range, gave the first breath of life to what would become the Kalgachi state as the gentler groups of benighted Minarborians networked together and gravitated toward the safe heights of the Octavian mountains whose dearth of lootable goods or population kept it from the attentions of the predatorially-inclined and offered a safe retreat, albeit one which introduced the new perils of cold and starvation in lieu of beast or bandit.

Laqi brigands under contract to the Perfecti, making displaced members of the Minarborian officer corps an offer they cannot refuse.

Those arriving in the southern Octavian mountains met with a group from the north - a band of mendicant clergymen and disgraced arcanists originally exiled there by the Minarborian church as penance and rehabilitation for their affiliation with the Argophylacterists, a band of revolutionary insurrectionists in &zeter whose uprising, although suppressed, had heralded the beginning of Minarboria's demise. This animated band of upstarts is believed to have been led by one Xantus A.Z. Yastreb, the son of the uprising's chief agitator who had been born in a penal colony with his undead father and subsequently paroled after a period of intensive 're-cultivation' at the hands of the Broodmother. Xantus' group soon came to corral the incoming refugee groups into a single polity - more critically they offered a new theological insight based on old, quasi-heretical strands of belief among &zeter's academic community which held that the loss of Minarboria's shrub-god and the post-human master races around him was a divinely-ordained act of transcendence from the material world and an invitation for those who remained to follow in their path and assume their powers. The proponents of the new belief ultimately arranged for the construction of, and retreat into, a deep bunker beneath Mount Octavian itself where they could further meditate on their revelations and offer further guidance to those on the surface who clung perilously onto life. In time these renegade clergymen came to be known as the Perfecti, not so much for what they were as for what they aspired to be, and the surviving elements of what was the University of &zeter Arcane Society now became known as the Troglodyti due to their sub-surface location. For want of any wiser authority at the time, the old Minarborealist priests on the surface deferred to the guidance of their enterprising counterparts below as their congregations struggled to cultivate strips of sparse farmland in mountain valleys, breed sheep and goats on its upland pastures and convince themselves that theirs was a worthy enterprise ordained by the chthonic divinity they had known and loved but now seemed horribly distant. Where spiritual cause failed to sustain, the day-to-day imperatives of simple survival inevitably came to the fore, especially among those caring for children who endured literal starvation so their young could remain fed and have the strength to enjoy the occasional moment of play.

Kalgachi scouts in the nation's earliest days, surveying the local topography for defensive value and construction potential.

The affair might have been hopeless in the long term, were it not for the reactivation of a series of old Minarborian gold mines whose shining bounty was quickly directed to turn the neutrally-aligned bands of roving Laqi cossacks in the east, and Siyacho-Ashkenatzi kossars in the west, to return to the lawless lower country whence the mountain refugees had fled and liberate the profusion of accumulated goods they had left behind in their haste to get away. While much of this went into the possession of the rampaging horsemen themselves, the delivery of reliable payment in gold persuaded them to give up a sizeable portion of their acquired bounty to the custody of the Perfecti and their nascent government, where it was turned immediately to the sustenance of the population. As time progressed these raids became more elaborate - what began as lightning attacks on bandit emcampments progressed to the assault of fortified ruins by horse-drawn artillery and the seizure of huge stocks of military hardware and industrial plant, conveyed in wagon trains through treacherous mountain passes on rudimentary gravel roads. The incoming stocks of organic fertiliser and heavy weapons allowed those living in the blasted heights to withstand periods of famine and renewed attack by brigands, who had inevitably become attracted to the concentrated flow of goods and attempted to follow the refugee hordes into the mountains. The fugitive population were assisted with varying degrees of enthusiasm by the cowering brains of Minarborian academia, sprung from the locked cellars and secluded lodges around &zeter and other crumbling cities by raids specially tasked with hunting them down. Their combined expertise in agronomy and medicine were later considered to have spared so many lives from disease and starvation that the two fields are treated as a single discipline to this day. It was they who identified the marginally-gentler slopes their new homeland's periphery as more conducive to agriculture and essential for the sustenance of the population in the long term, as incoming supplies of looted foodstuffs tailed off. The Perfecti heeded their warning and their nascent state, having acquired the name Kalgachia through some nebulous fusion of Laqi-Ashkenatzi patois, was bidden to expand its territory across the whole Octavian mountain range.

For more Kalgachi history, see the History of Kalgachia.

Religion

The universe according to the Church of Kalgachia.

For more, see Ketherism.

Kalgachia's belief system, Ketherism, began as an agglomeration of those eremitic and monastic sects which had been tolerated with disdain by the Minarborian church, but whose teachings gained new-found popularity in the wake of that church's collapse. Indeed the conditions of the time all but demanded that the early Kalgachi organise themselves in a monastic fashion, attending to their own needs in small fortified groups and enduring an ascetic existence before any thoughts of the wider Garden could be considered. In time however, these monasteries - and the churches built in subjection to them - were networked together by the new sub-surface elite and went on to form the basis for Kalgachia's rhizomic government structure.

The Ketherist belief system is not so much based on new revelation, as on several long-running undercurrents of Minarborealist belief that bubbled to the surface of the popular consciousness once the old church was no longer around to suppress them. While the Ketherists retain the old Deep Singer conception of one's own homeland and social structure as a 'Garden' to be 'cultivated' in a horticulurally-minded and holistic manner, the Garden's purpose has been somewhat revised. No longer is it the goal of the faithful to expand the Garden across the physical world - such horticultural absolutism is considered a misdirection of effort in an inherently corrupted material realm and a dangerous folly which grew the Empire of Minarboria beyond its telluric carrying capacity and brought it to a tragically premature end. Instead, hold the Ketherists, one's life in the material world must be devoted to 'keeping a good Garden' for one's immediate kin and countrymen, with any expansion of the faith being little more than a product of one's shining example, unforced by proselytisation or territorial conquest and ultimately irrelevant to the salvation of the faithful - such salvation only being possible through one's personal enterprise and agency in discovering, appreciating and converting to the faith independently of outside pressures.

The Ketherist conception of the physical universe is that of a fouled and tainted precipitate, the fulminatory contact point resulting from an invasion of the Garden Ketheric - an immaterial plane of pure harmonic symbiosis (but not necessarily order) whence all human souls originate and yearn for reconciliation[1] - by the Wastes of Irredeemable Corruption, an alien morass which draws its energy from the generation of pain and suffering and must continually bloat outwards to avoid cannibalising itself. Each realm has its agents, which manifest themselves in varying forms and degrees of potency in the physical universe created by their contact. The furious war between these agents has progressed to the point that those from the Wastes of Irredeemable Corruption whose chief weapons are fear, cynicism, avarice and anger in the hearts of humanity, have come to prevail in the heavens - whereas those from the Garden Ketheric who imbue the faithful with jollity, wisdom, charity, beauty and calm fortitude, are strongest in the cores of the densest physical bodies such as stars and planets. This goes some way to explaining the popularity of underground habitation in Kalgachia which, all defensive necessity aside, is considered the most proximate to the Garden Ketheric. This orientation of spiritual polarity has presented difficulties with Kalgachia's constituent languages which present the superior, the exalted, the lofty, the ascendant and indeed the very name of Ketherism itself as contradictory to their origins in the virtuous depths - this being considered one of the most corrupting and insidious deceptions yet wrought upon humanity from the Wastes of Irredeemable Corruption. Defiant cognisance of this deception is thought to be the inspiration behind the motto of the Kalgachi state - Quod Superius, Sicut Inferius - and efforts to avoid or substitute offending terms in the Kalgachi vernacular have gained popularity within some halls of church and state through an engineered dialect known as K-Prime (although in other offices such language is mocked as the buzzword-laden dross of careerist sycophants).

Ketherism does not hold absolute import in the existence of gods, although the most powerful agents of the Garden Ketheric are freely recognised as deities of a sort. The all-time record for the most divine being is considered to be the Shrub-God Minarbor, from whom the Empire of Minarboria was named - but unlike the Minarborians who considered Him to be Shrub-God above all, the Church of Kalgachia proclaims the possibility of Minarbor's divinity being equalled or surpassed by some other being in the future. Posthuman authority figures of Minarborian history such as the Empress Lyssansa, Fleurette the Thoughtseeker and Lord Toastypops also enjoy quasi-divine status in Ketherism through their appellation as 'Salvators'.

Government

Falcifer Yastreb is believed to be the present Chairman of the Council of Perfecti, making him de facto Kalgachi head of state.

Central Governance

Supreme power in Kalgachia is vested in the Council of Perfecti, who tend to remain in their sanctified underground chambers to limit their corruption by the distractions of the world above. On the rare occasions they do surface, it is in a disguised form - usually to obtain first-hand experience of the nation's condition and circumvent overly sycophantic, pessimistic or otherwise agenda-driven presentations of the situation by the Kalgachi bureaucracy on whom they usually rely for information.

Although the Council of Perfecti has always had nine seats, the membership is thought to have changed over time. Such changes, the reasons for them, or indeed the identities of any of the Perfecti, have never been admitted officially although some occupants of the Council have been deduced beyond reasonable doubt by the population - the sudden and premature disappearance of senior officials from public life, without an accompanying character assassination in the national media, is generally accepted as a sign of their appointment to the Council.

Each of the Perfecti holds a ministerial brief, exercised through the following institutions:

The Troglodyti

The Troglodyti are an occult order descended from the University of &zeter Arcane Society, a student coven of the Minarborian era. Their intiates, known as Troglodytes or 'Trogs' in informal discourse, tend to operate out of the public eye - most often physically underground - in accordance with their own norms, customs and rituals. The Troglodyti's seat on the Council of Perfecti is that of a representative rather than a leader, although said represantative traditionally chairs the Council and has the nominal role of Kalgachia's head of state. This privilege, and the fact that the Troglodyti are permitted direct and autonomous control of all Kalgachi territory more than five kilometres below ground, suggest that the their influence in public life is so silently pervasive as to be ubiquitous. According to the supreme law of Kalgachia, the Oktavyan Code, the official brief of the Troglodyti is "the esoteric salvation of the Kalgachi people" although how they go about this task is not well understood beyond their inner membership.

Although the Troglodyti are thought to lack a leadership in the commonly-understood sense, a certain amount of deference gravitates toward those learned elements who administer the order's sub-surface possessions and represent them as a province to other organs of Kalgachi state. Over time this has blurred the roles of provincial administrator and master hierophant to the extent that such individuals enjoy de facto control of the Troglodyti on both a technocratic and thaumaturgical level.

It is rumoured that the order is divided into two factions, the 'Chaotes' and the 'Grimoirists', each grudgingly tolerating the other's presence to fill holes in their own practice. The Chaotes are noted for their proficiency in back-engineering and experimenting with arcane workings from every known esoteric tradition on Micras - including those originating from avowed enemies of Ketherism and the Kalgachi people - whilst the Grimoirists are quietly respected for their dogged persistence in collating the resulting scraps of workable practice into a corpus of uniquely Kalgachi arcana upon the alchemical-energetic foundation originally laid by the Minarborians.

The Church of Kalgachia

While accused of promoting a "politically-inspired pseudo-religion" by some, the Church of Kalgachia has learned to embrace its status as the nation's ideological vanguard.

For more about Kalgachi religion, see Ketherism.

The Church of Kalgachia is the official state church and the most powerful public influence on Kalgachi society, tasked with maintaining Kalgachia's spiritual rigour through a wide network of monasteries and their subject churches. The institutions also serve as nodes of provincial government in which the Church wields immense power, although this is generally seperated from its spiritual offices by a cadre of Proctors to whom administrative functions are delegated. This fusion of the spiritual and municipal is a legacy of the belated effort to prevent the collapse of Minarboria, wherein the clergy as natural founts of authority were envisaged as auxiliary government officials in the event of central government collapse - it has been argued that the system's survival into Kalgachia represents the successful implementation of Minarboria's government continuity protocols in geographically-limited form, although the newer church's renunciation of old church monotheism in favour of a more loosely defined, chthonically-flavoured Gnosticism suggests its evolution into a seperate and distinct mode of leadership as the imperatives of history require.

The Church of Kalgachia is also tasked with the training and arming of partisans from their congregation as a precaution against armed invasion. In peacetime these partisans, numbering around 4.6 million, effectively constitute the Church's paramilitary wing. The Church's moral clout, administrative power and armed strength empowers it to act as a police force and judiciary on a local level. In addition the Church's near-monopoly on land ownership has allowed it to dominate the Kalgachi economy through the stipulation that all businesses wishing to acquire dedicated premises must submit to Church ownership before land is made available to them. In this manner the Church seeks to systematically and directly restrain the zero-sum predationism inherent to the capitalistic worldview and the 'Pecuniary Archon' which instils it in the hearts of the innocent. Regular exposés of 'financial irregularities' in specific Church Parishes by the national news media, complete with lurid accounts of visits by clergy to the casinos and bordellos of Kalgachia's upscale ski resorts, suggests that the ground-level implementation of this regulatory aspect has not been entriely successful.

The Church professes to keep its immense power in check by retaining of many aspects of the old Minarborian liturgy and doctrine - for those within and without the institution it emphasises jollity, politeness and charity as the chief weapons against the archonic cynicism which rages beyond Kalgachia's borders.

The Kalgachi Defence Force

For more, see the Military of Kalgachia.

The Kalgachi Defence Force (KDF) are Kalgachia's professional military, born from the personnel and huge amounts of military hardware recovered from the collapse of Minarboria. KDF doctrine is heavily task-optimised to the defence of Kalgachi territory against invasion by first-rank Micran powers (specifically Shireroth) along with the containment of Tyrannocricetus aliger. The prevalence of gravimetric vehicles and full-spectrum surveillance capability in the Shirerithian armed forces is perceived to have completely removed the defensive advantage of Kalgachia's mountain topography, requiring new solutions for national defence such as the location of all military infrastructure underground, a heavily dispersed command and logistics structure, the mass production and company-level deployment of hypersonic kinetic weaponry, the aggressive maintenance of an real-time intelligence picture, precautions against electromagnetic and infrared emission which freely extend into the obsessive, and the multilayered cryptographic scrambling of communication data and active sensor signatures.

The role of the KDF junior officer is notoriously demanding, requiring an immensely detailed knowledge of Kalgachi geography and social composition, the weapons and tactics of Kalgachia's military adversaries and countermeasures against them, coordination with friendly units through Bayesian inference without direct communication or command coordination, unit-level sensor conealment both static and mobile, re-infiltration of enemy occupation zones, swarming to contact, dispersal from contact, and the necessary fieldcraft to weather out long periods of concealed isolation. Due to its complexity, time spent by officer graduates in this role is relatively long while subsequent promotions are relatively fast.

The KDF's technological composition is jarringly dissonant - while its manoeuvre groups and supply columns are reliant upon pack horses to negotiate Kalgachia's mountainous terrain and relative sparsity of roads (which in any event would be deathtraps in wartime), its inheritance of Minarborian rocket and electronic warfare technology allows it to field a first-rank air defence and theatre ballistic missile capability - although, as concluded by the KDF's Minarborian forebears, fast air assets are considered insufficiently survivable in wartime to be worth the investment; air cover and transport is provided entirely by Whirdlebirb helicopters, moving slowly among the radar clutter of Kalgachia's deep valleys.

The Prefects

Maintaining the cohesion of Kalgachia's many ethnic groups is an important part of the Prefects' work.

The Prefects (not to be confused with the Perfecti) are Kalgachia's internal security service tasked with immigration and customs, counterintelligence, anti-corruption operations, organised crime investigation and the ultimate enforcement of the Oktavyan Code whose provisions they enjoy almost unlimited power to interpret. With the exception of their uniformed Border Guard Service, the Prefects work out of the public eye and because Due Process does not exist in Kalgachia on a national level, their entire chain of operation from initial investigation to corrective action (which they are fully remitted to take without judicial oversight) is similarly hidden. Their culture of occlusion in this regard presents a natural limit to the extent of their operations - not unlike the Assayers of Shirerithian Goldshire, some exiled alumni of whom allegedly assisted in the Prefects' creation along with the Reapers, the disbanded national police of Minarboria.

The simple and sudden disappearance of those perceived to be a national security risk, after a period of intensive covert surveillance and investigation, is the primary modus operandi of the Prefects. Contrary to popular belief, the organisation frowns upon the gratuitous rough-handling or torture of detainees as an unwarranted act of flattery toward the miscreant and an indulgence of archonic forces which ultimately derive equal sustenance and pleasure from all human suffering, whether it be that of servants or enemies. Instead, the Prefects pride themselves upon silence and unceremonious efficiency in the removal of troublesome elements where possible - individuals too publically prominent to be removed covertly are denigrated with hit pieces planted in the Kalgachi media - usually drawing from a 'control file' full of compromising material which is gathered on every public figure in Kalgachia regardless of their loyalty to the state - until their reputation is sufficiently destroyed that they can be 'disappeared' without public consternation.

Perhaps the most important role of the Prefects on a day-to-day basis is that of a regulatory central counterweight to the power of the Church, whose junior clergy are occasionally corrupted by the immense power conferred on them and require intervention from an independent authority. Where a problem is too large to be addressed by the action of covert agents, the Prefects enjoy the power to deputise large, plausibly deniable bands of Church partisans from neighbouring (preferably rival) parishes to descend upon a problem area en masse and restore order with appropriate weapons to suit the situation at hand, ranging from the humble pickaxe handle to military issue anti-tank weapons and flamethrowers. Rumours exist of entire parishes being razed by this method in the Laqi east, presented by the media as a 'clan dispute' if reported at all.

The Directorate of Public Works

The Directorate of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for Kalgachia's civil infrastructure, much of which is located entirely underground beneath thick mountain granite. As a result the DPW have come to specialise in tunnel boring, ventilation and geothermal power. The Directorate is fully remitted to maintain and operate its more vital creations such as the electrical power grid, transport network, postal service and telephone system.

The DPW has been committed to a hideously resource-intensive capital construction project of one kind or another for Kalgachia's entire history, causing it to operate in a constant state of marginal overstretch. Chief among such projects have been:

  • Deep-level central governance and military command rhizomes (145-147 AL)
  • Deep-level factory spaces for strategic industries. (147-150 AL)
  • Three underground railways linking the cities of Katarsis, Jollity and Bergburg in a triangle (150-154 AL)
  • A constellation of 132 mountain fortresses for the Kalgachi Defence Force (154-166 AL)
  • Mid-lithosphere excavations and infrastructure installation in support of Project Newrad (beginning 166 AL)
  • A constellation of 60 medium-range ballistic missile bases for the Kalgachi Defence Force (170-188 AL)
  • A railway linking Kasterburg with Transbatavia (183-186 AL)

The Directorate's consistently heavy workload has made it one of the more generous employers of the Kalgachi state in terms of wages/overtime and salary/bonuses, but also suffers the second-lowest life expectancy of any sector in the Kalgachi workforce behind KDF troops on Tee-al containment duty.

The Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning

For more, see the Economy of Kalgachia.

The Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning (DLEP) played a critical role in Kalgachia's early history, organising an influx of migrants and goods caravans into a coherent labour force and manufacturing complex which established the rudiments of a social safety net and spared those early settlers from a premature death by starvation or exposure. The DLEP's modern-day brief states that the very notion of unconditional loyalty is degenerate archonic poison, and that no Kalgachi can be expected to stand in the defence of their state unless it can maintain proof of its material and moral merits in the eyes of the citizen beholder (an imperative made more pointed by the fact that the Church, in its alleged wisdom, has seen fit to instruct a full quarter of the population in the art of guerilla warfare and insurrection). This translates to a requirement to ensure a standard of living at or above the Benacian average, priority being given to the less ideologically-anchored segments of the population. In practice this has resulted in a profusion of obese Laqi 'partisan commanders' cruising the streets of Schlepogora in imported Roller's Choice limousines whilst green-skinned and threadbare grandmothers in the forests of Lithead are reduced to subsistence foraging, nonetheless grateful to their homeland for being only state in Benacia which reliably refrains from slaughtering their Nezeni people.

In addition to selectively incentivising the population, the DLEP operates Kalgachia's strategic industries such as raw material extraction, electronics, armaments and heavy manufacturing - these being generally located in deep-level underground facilities to protect their production in wartime. Industries with a military application have a wholly DLEP-controlled supply chain, with other industries tending to obtain their supplies from Church-owned enterprises.

The DLEP maintains a standing Labour Corps to assist other organs of state in special projects or emergency relief efforts. The Labour Corps is commonly seen as the last-ditch employment option in Kalgachia, with much of its membership being composed of small-time criminals supplied under sentence from the Church of Kalgachia's innumerable Parish tribunals. Wayward labourers do however have the oppurtunity to advance themselves into the Corps' cadre of skilled labourers and foremen, whose trades are marginally more respectable and afford them the skills to provide their services privately after leaving the Corps.

The DLEP also oversees the operations of the Reserve Bank of Kalgachia, minters of the Kalgarrand.

The Directorate of Education and Outreach

For more, see the Media of Kalgachia.

The Directorate of Education and Outreach (DEO) oversees Kalgachia's education system, cultural initiatives, research and development capability, statistics collection and mass media. Freedom of thought is encouraged within the DEO, although its services to the general population are coordinated with other organs of state to keep its output 'on message'. The DEO is second only to the Church of Kalgachia in preserving within its organisational culture the nannying paternalism which characterised the government of Minarboria - the Directorate motto, "Your Gnosis Is Our Business" promotes across Kalgachi schools and media organs the creed that the knowledge of the Kalgachi teacher or journalist is beyond question, second only to work of the ordained clergy in their righteous quest to inform, enlighten and entertain.

The DEO was involved in the global cinemetic renaissance which inexplicably exploded across Micras in the year 171 AL, responding to the works of Caputia, Kasterburg, Nova England, the the Florian Republic and Shireroth by pumping resources into Kalgachia's own modest film industry, mainly to prop up the Schlepfilm studio of Schlepogora and its 'Benacian Westerns' whose budgets matched the epic scale of their plots.

The Pedagogue General's Office of the DEO is also responsible for running the children's camp known as the Urchagin.

The Directorate of Health and Public Welfare

Once the Minarborian seat of the Yastrebs, Karymovka Sanatorium is the DHPW's flagship convalescent facility.

The Directorate of Health and Public Welfare (DHPW) is responsible for its Kalgachia's healthcare provision and - notably - the agriculture and food supply chain, this latter element being considered of existential rather than commercial importance due to Kalgachia's limited reserves of arable land and pasture. Along with the DLEP the hard pressed doctors, agronomists and dietitians of the DHPW did much to prevent Kalgachia's early migration flows from turning into a sewer of famine and disease.

Although much of the advanced bio-engineering capability enjoyed by Minarboria was lost after that empire's collapse, the DHPW have retained certain strands of the old expertise such as life-extending telomerase therapy and almost-limitless abilities in transfusion and transplantation - albeit within the bounds of the humanoid anatomy, the previous effortless incorporation of donor material as genetically distant as the insecta being little more than a distant memory. Rumours of a DHPW facility maintaining live samples from Minarboria's advanced bio-weapons programme under the pretext of 'civilian research' have been consistently denied.

The DHPW's Sportive Development Bureau has grown from its origins in promoting physical fitness to become Kalgachia's national governing body for sport. The Bureau has met with particular success in coaching Kalgachi fencing teams - drawn as they are from a deep cultural well of Laqis, Kossars, and the university fencing clubs of Oktavyan and Bergburg who inherited their craft from the student Mensur fraternities of &zeter.

The Directorate of the Tumultuous Wastes

The Directorate of the Tumultuous Wastes (DTW - named for the Ketherist conception of the lands beyond Kalgachia) is Kalgachia's most junior organ of state, concerned with foreign relations. Like its old Minarborian counterpart, the Third State Arbor, the DTW is essentially a purgatory for inexperienced or disgraced civil servants who are tasked with the unpleasant job of interacting with foreign powers as a form of initiation and/or penance. This also has the benefit of flushing out the less reliable bureaucrats by incentivising them to 'go native' in foreign climes long before they have been promoted to more sensitive positions in the Kalgachi state. Because of this, however, the ranks of the DTW enjoy a certain special cameraderie and a relative absence of bloated egos which allows its work to be carried out with a high degree of efficiency and informality.

In 186 AL the Directorate was violently purged after the cult of flippant candour which had arisen within its diplomatic corps resulted in a series of diplomatic faux pas in Caputia and Shireroth, effectively stripping Kalgachia of the hard-won geopolitical initiative and international esteem it had accumulated up to that point. The purges resulted in effective usurpation of the Directorate's senior offices by the KDF Military Intelligence Staff and the demotion of its own intelligence branch, the FRO, to the ignoble drudgery of open-source data processing. The details of Kalgachi foreign policy have effectively been classified since that point, although the DTW continues to engage in transactional negotiations of a technocratic tenor from which a rough picture can be assembled of Kalgachia's intentions with regard to the wider world.

The hierarchy of Kalgachia's provincial governance, an inversion of the usual shape to reflect physical reality (authority comes from below).

The DTW's oddball tone is matched by its methods, marked as they are by the casual use of Foreign Direct Investment vehicles as negotiating proxies and intelligence sources plus a tendency to circumvent the customary diplomatic portals of foreign governments in favour of direct approaches to the political factions, commercial entities or other special interests involved in the matters Kalgachia wishes to negotiate. The completion of the Oobakeep spy plane, for instance - a feat somewhat outside Kalgachia's native expertise - is credited to an ale-sodden meeting with the aeronautical engineers of Nova English Weapons in the skittle alley of a Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor pub, wherein said engineers waxed lyrical about the coffin corner in exchange for a partially-assembled Whirdlebirb sensor pod from the trunk of the Kalgachi delegation's car.

The priorities of Kalgachi foreign policy have traditionally been determined by the glowering spectre of adjacent Shireroth - more specifically the inherited Minarborian-era struggle against the Nationalist & Humanist Party and its fellow travellers as they periodically lunge for a controlling stake in the Shirerithian bureaucracy, from which they might enact their ideological design to extirpate the Kalgachi nation from the face of Micras. This existential imperative was largely responsible for the cultivation of a near-alliance with the Kingdom of Nova England immediately prior to the War of the Casks, although in latter times the relationship has been maintained for the sake of lucrative trade and cultural links. Of all Kalgachia's Benacian neighbours the Kasterburg Republic has proven to be the most reliable, accepting Kalgachia's offers of military assistance in good grace and agreeing on an expansion of its frontier to meet Kalgachia's own, finally giving Kalgachia a fully-civilised route to the coast of the Benacian continent by air and rail. The adjacent Republic of Inner Benacia has an odious distinction as the only state to have been involved in armed conflict with Kalgachia, albeit little more than a border skirmish during the latter's naissance which was settled by a combination of cosmetic military posturing and discreet payments of blood money on Kalgachia's part.

Since purchasing a fleet of transport aircraft and sending humanitarian aid shipments during the War of Lost Brothers, Kalgachia has followed Minarboria's legacy in maintaining a cordial relationship with Jingdao whenever the perpetually-fluctuating function of the latter government permits the exercise of foreign relations.

Provincial Governance

The area of reponsibility between the Perfecti and the Church is delegated to the Lords Lieutenant, of which there is one for each of Kalgachia's eight Lieutenancies. The Lords Lieutenant, coordinating their work through the Lord Lieutenants' Council, are the most senior government officials to appear in public, often making speeches and announcing policy on behalf of the Perfecti. This alone gives them considerable powers to interpret and apply the Perfecti's will in their respective Lieutenancies, although in reality this power is limited by the double scrutiny of the Perfecti's own informants and that of the Church whose acquiescence is essential to implement policy on the ground.

The Lieutenancies of Kalgachia are divided into Marches, administered by the Church of Kalgachia from monasteries. These in turn are divided into Parishes, administered from churches. The Abbots of the Marches and Credents of the Parishes, through their subordinate Proctors, wield considerable power on a local level upto and including that of extrajudicial property seizure or summary execution, although consistently heavy-handed church clerics run the risk of their actions drawing the attention of the Church or the Prefects and backfiring catastrophically.

The Lieutenancy of Lapivril is a special case - it being entirely underground, administered by the Troglodyti and divided into Strata and Nodules instead of Marches and Parishes. The protocols and workings of Lapivril's administration remain mysterious, as to the location of its interfaces with the surface Lieutenancies and the identity and role of those authorised to enter it.

Since 189 AL the territory of Northbloom has been a Kalgachi protectorate, administered by a Lord Protector and resourced by the Kalgachi state. Unlike the Lieutenancies, Northbloom is not considered an integral part of the Kalgachi nation and the activity of the protectorate administration is devoted almost entirely to the provision of security and the sustenance of existing indigenous life. The people of Northbloom nontheless share a common heritage with the inhabitants of neighbouring Katarsis, both populations being descended from the subjects of Octavia Rossheim, Princess Royal of Minarboria who ruled the region as the Principality of Highbloom in the years before Minarboria's collapse.

Legal System

For more, see the Oktavyan Code and the Orders of Council.

The most salient characteristic of the Kalgachi legal system is its relative absence. Outside the implementation of the Oktavyan Code and the Orders of the Perfecti, jurisprudence as a discipline is largely alien to the Kalgachi concept of civil order which is mostly delivered through a rhizomic variant of the 'leader principle' exercised on the Parish level - such parochial segmentation serving in theory to limit the damage of ill-wielded power and further moderated by the Church of Kalgachia's near-monopoly over the governmental fulfilment layer along with the inalienable right of petition afforded to Kalgachi citizens (the only 'human right' codified in national law).

Although this system gives rise to a hideously mismatched patchwork of bylaws, decrees and in many cases mere verbal understandings between Kalgachia's many Parishes, it does allow for the fine optimisation of local government to suit the cultural, economic and geographical conditions in any given jurisdiction, thus averting the type of ham-fisted technocratic inflexibility which might provoke discontent among Kalgachia's many ethnic groups and make them ripe for leverage by hostile foreign powers.

Invariably, suggestions to standardise or expand Kalgachi law are met with violent opposition from the Church of Kalgachia - its theologians have repeatedly declared the concept of a formalised national judiciary to be an archonic instrument designed to dupe the population with the promise of enforcing objective fairness, whilst in reality capturing the means to enforce that fairness and denying its access by the common citizen through the gratuitous impenetrability of its procedures, ultimately limiting its utility to particularist interests who seek to entrench or advance their own position through contrived acts of barratry and contractual double-bind. The actions of the Froyalanish King Noah, both in Shireroth and Natopia, are often cited as the purest and most psychopathic distillation of that dark art and a salutary warning from history against judicial indulgences.

Enforcing the provisions of national law, and trying infractions of it, is nominally the responsibility of the Prefects who traditionally choose to proceed directly from investigation to sentence without any semblance of a formal trial beyond the procedural circulation of given cases through their occluded back offices. The enforcement of Church bylaws in the Marches and Parishes, however, is more often conducted by public tribunal for the dual purpose of reassuring and warning the more proximate citizenry. The right of defendants to be represented by advocates or lodge appeals varies by jurisdiction, as does the general tenor of proceedings and the sentences handed out - public executions would be considered horrifyingly barbaric in Katarsis or Jollity, whereas in Abrek and Schlepogora they are not only a common occurrence but a municipal event complete with music, refreshment stalls and other accoutrements of public entertainment.

Economy and Infrastructure

For more, see the Economy of Kalgachia.

Early attempts to emulate Minarboria's non-monetary command economy were found to be inefficient in the face of Kalgachia's modest resource base, and the availability of one particular resource - gold - caused it to rapidly emerge as an informal means of exchange among the population which the Perfecti found necessary to formalise and regulate, before the emergence of a capital-hoarding class and the runaway skimmage of surplus labour value sucked the Kalgachi economy dry. The result is essentially a form of state capitalism, where private enterprises are not permitted dedicated land for their operations unless they surrender their ownership and managerial oversight to an organ of state - usually the Church of Kalgachia (or in Lapivril, the Troglodyti) which has the statutory monopoly on all land not claimed by other state entities. Businesses which refuse such oversight are ultimately limited to the scale of cottage industries operating from residential dwellings which themselves are rented from the state monopoly. The conversion of such dwellings into businesses is generally tolerated as long as the tenant remains in residence, even if they have reduced their habitational space to a single room or closet and given over the rest of the premises to their commercial interests.

The modest surface appearance of Oktavyan, Kalgachia's capital city, belies the size of its larger underground parts.

Kalgachia's unit of currency, the Kalgarrand, consists of one troy ounce (31.1g) of pure gold. Due to their considerable value, whole Kalgarrands are rarely seen in everyday use and most coinage is adulterated with base metals into everyday denominations. The most salient example of the currency's strength is its listing on the Micras Pint Index, rivalled only by the similarly gold-minted Denarii of Nova England. The currency's private-sector role as a mode of liquidity rather than capital accumulation ensures that the majority of it is locked up in the Church or other state organs and passes only briefly through the hands of the ordinary citizen before returning to the authorities' treasuries.

The mountainous terrain of Kalgachia is not especially conducive to agriculture, and the few pockets of suitable farmland in the lower hill country of its fringes are heavily cultivated. Countermeasures against soil depletion are one of the more frenetic occupations of Kalgachia's small academic community. The husbandry of sheep and goats is more widespread, the animals being well suited to Kalgachia's profusion of scattered highland pastures. Kalgachia's geography has allowed mining and quarrying to flourish although it has conversely made exports problematic, bordering on the impossible - to reach the high seas and the global market place, Kalgachi goods must be conveyed through the territory of Kasterburg or Shireroth. Before the War of Lost Brothers the majority of Kalgachia's foreign trade was with Shireroth itself, mainly in the form of contractually-obliged Froyalanish labourers imported in exchange for outgoing Kalgarrand and surplus items of ex-Minarborian industrial plant. In latter times, the release of the Froyalanish from bondage and various geopolitical considerations have compelled a rerouting of most Kalgachi exports into Kasterburg, or through the Octavian Import-Export Corporation in Nova England.

Kalgachia's roads are few, and its railways fewer. The latter tend to exist in the form of light subway systems beneath large towns and cities, connecting the more substantial buildings which are constructed with basement floors equalling or exceeding the surface structure. The rail subways, and their attendant walkways, also connect premises which are located entirely underground. An established Kalgachi settlement viewed from the surface therefore represents only around half - or even less - of what actually exists. In some of the more inhospitable mountain areas, whole villages are carved beneath the local granite and are accessed from what appears to be a single cottage.

During Kalgachia's idealistic naissance the DPW intended to connect all of Kalgachia's major cities by entirely underground means - although this has already been achieved between the relatively-proximate cities of Bergburg, Katarsis and Jollity, the project was found to be hideously resource intensive despite the 'help' of thousands, allegedly hundreds of thousands, of bonded Froyalaners on sixteen-hour shifts whose fatality rate was scarcely better than they had suffered at the hands of Shirerithian death squads. Since the Froyalaners' emancipation into the wage-earning citizenry and the emergence of other capital projects up the DTW's list of priorities, the complete tunnel linkage of Kalgachia's population centres has steadily retreated from the threshold of viability.

It has been noted from the usual derisory quarters that the technological edge of Kalgachia's economic development is jarringly uneven - the alchemical cadres of Lapivril have devised world-leading methods to transmute granite and magma into agricultural produce and all manner of biomic raw material but the input of geothermal power, industrial plant and skilled technicians required to do so is hideously large and predicted to be un-scalable to a national level for centuries, held back by limited numbers of trained scientists and engineers as well as a constant resource drain to the national defence complex. On the surface, the majority of Kalgachia's motor transport is powered by wood gas obtained from the enormous belt of plantation forest around the national frontier (through refineries in the case of light vehicles, or on-board gasifiers in the case of heavy vehicles). Certain elements of the national infrastructure (the road and rail network, utility-band radio communications, long-range goods distribution etc.) are left wilfully under-developed as too vulnerable to attack, or too useful to an invading enemy in wartime. The obsessively fine-targeted, priority-oriented planning of central economic organs has also left whole sectors undeveloped as 'insufficiently important', left by default to the country's stunted mass of private enterprises or even criminal elements. The tendency of these small, parochially-optimised entities to fill cracks in the Kalgachi standard of living is largely tolerated by the authorities which are centrally instructed to regulate them with as light a hand as possible - again inspired by the all-pervading imperative of national defence, in that a decent standard of living makes it more difficult for hostile foreign powers to buy the submission of Kalgachi citizens (a tactic which Kalgachia's founders had themselves used to magnificent effect in naturalising the country's eastern and western populations).

Academia and Technology

As befits a gnostically-inclined nation which considers the cultivation of knowledge its sole hope of evening the odds against a material universe rigged against it, Kalgachia's education system is extensive and well-developed - largely the legacy of Kalgachia's first Pedagogue General, Ilessa Z. Aerit, and the cult-like following of her holistic vision in the years since she died. It begins at the primary phase, in thousands of Church-run parish schools where Kalgachi children are taught to read, write, identify the principal manifestations of archonic power in the public life of various Micran societies and basic methods of subverting them, and perform simple algebra. This culminates in the Urchagin, a viscerally intense and allegorical retelling of Kalgachia's origin which is intended to instil, at a suitably early age, some sense of historical context and cause in its participants' subsequent 'cultivation'.

With the exception of theological and special-needs education, subsequent phases of learning in Kalgachia are provided directly by the Directorate of Education and Outreach. Students in secondary education are generally streamed into the humanities or sciences at an early stage, although the latter stream retains a full examination of Micran history, the subject being considered so vital that it transcends the constraints of classical study and offers an equally valuable body of precedent in the sciences. It is traditional to examine Shirerithian history in the first year of secondary education, followed by that of Minarboria and eventually Kalgachia with occasional foray into events of other nations such as Nova England and Kasterburg. Those students streamed into the humanities overlay these studies with a more intensive history covering the entire Benacian continent from its prehistoric origins.

The most gifted entrants to the secondary system are diverted to one of Kalgachia's handful of Gymnasia of which there are two in the city of Oktavyan, one in Lithead and one in Bergburg. Here the classical and scientific streams are applied simultaneously and with a fearsome intensity.

While the Gymnasia retain their students into the collegiate phase, those from other schools are moved on to seperate colleges where the humanities stream begins an immersion into Benacian classical mythology and students in the scientific stream are committed to either a theoretical or vocational path. Those of a more spiritual bent are admitted to one of the monasteries from which Kalgachia's constituent Marches are administered, where they don the sackcloth habit and devote their lives to the absorption of Ketherist theology. From these pious seekers come the ranks of Kalgachi church clergy, plus the occasional aspiring Troglodyte who will inveriably descend among that order's sub-surface covens to continue their esoteric journey thereafter.

Education is nominally compulsory upto this point, although the predominantly-Laqi Lieutenancies of Abrek and Schlepogora do suffer from an intractably high truancy rate as their girls are kept home to perform grinding domestic labour followed by early motherhood and housewifery while the boys succumb to the romantic allure of the shashka and the saddle, running off to gallop about the land with their cossack partisan elders instead of attending school. As a result the literacy rate in these areas remains stubbornly below the national average, reducing the overall national rate into line with neighbouring states which Kalgachia might otherwise have outshone.

Students continuing from college are admitted to one of Kalgachia's two universities, Oktavyan or Bergburg - the former being the traditional crucible of Kalgachi culture while the latter advances the nation's science and engineering. Here they either settle into postgraduation and eventual tenure or go on to apply themselves in the most important nodes of the Kalgachi bureaucracy.

Under the Directorate of Health and Public Welfare, some provision exists for the residential education of halfwits, cretins, imbeciles, idiots, morons, spasmodics, Jingoloids and other flavours of intellectual disability as well the deranged, the irritably epileptic, the deaf and the blind - the majority of such afflicted individuals being Nezeni by heritage, the result of unforeseen incompatibilies in modified genes arising from that population's abandonment of the strict eugenics practised by their Deep Singer forebears. The majority of staff in Kalgachia's special-needs institutions are Lywallers by heritage, their innate jollity and patience being considered best suited to the care of high-maintenance students. A notable proportion of those under their care are refugees from Shireroth, often smuggled to Kalgachia sans parents, since rumours took hold of a clandestine eugenic extermination programme by the name of Operation Quad-Tango[2] operating in Nationalist-Humanist areas. The curriculum of these institutions, modest by necessity, is built around practical measures to recover as much of their students' societal functionality as possible and reduce their burden on state resources.

The educated class of Kalgachia has an unusually high population of scientists and engineers for a country of its size, initially nourished by the learned cadres of &zeter who, with varying levels of volition, migrated to Kalgachia after Minarboria's collapse. Certain achievements in Minarborian technology such as biodiesel propulsion, resilient electronics and rocketry owe themselves to this inheritance, alongside the country's advanced capabilities in underground construction and medicine which draw from the well of Deep Singer experience. These two skillbases have combined to prioritise the location of Kalgachia's most important state and industrial assets in the deepest underground venues, each rated to withstand attack by an orbitally-delivered kinetic penetrator bearing a nuclear warhead in the multi-megaton range.

In recent times, much of Kalgachia's scientific development has pivoted from the development of military technology to the synthesis of life-essential material from Kalgachia's sub-surface geology, with the goal of enabling the underground Lieutenancy of Lapivril to attain a self-sufficiency and independence from the surface world of an extent unseen since the People's Republic of Hell. While the extraction of limitless geothermal power from the mid-Benacian tectonic fault and the production of ultraviolet lighting to mimic the absent rays of Atos have long since been within Kalgachi capability, the synthesis of life-essential hydrates and nitrates from geological strata in which they are absent had long eluded Kalgachi scientists until one Dr. Eager Churchytopp of the University of Bergburg devised a series of processes utilising alpha particles from abundant sources of Radium-226 in the local granite to free neutrons from carbon and effect reliable, in-situ nuclear transmutation of other substances with relatively small and mass-producable reactor apparatus (Churchytopp's work on the unchained fission of light nuclei, particularly the Silicon-28 > Nitrogen-14 process, earned him a rare summons to be congratulated by the Council of Perfecti themselves. As often happens with scientists who attain strategic importance, the accolade subsequently burdened him with lifelong restrictions on freedom of movement and 24-hour surveillance by the Prefects). This, in combination with the developments in the extraction of magmatic hydrogen from deep thermal vents, caused the existence of the Lieutenancy of Lapivril to be acknowledged officially and codified in law, such that the techologies proven could claim a wider share of Kalgachia's resource base.

Society

An ethnographic map of Kalgachia.

Kalgachia's geography, and the historical migrations that have taken place upon it, have made it the meeting point of many Benacian ethnicities. Each have their own quirks of custom, dialect and outlook on life. If any traits can be considered universal in Kalgachia they are a desire for self-reliance, a strangely unpeturbed tenor in the face of grave danger bordering on outright fatalism, a casual directness of tone and a lingering, deep suspicion of Shireroth - all of these things reinforced by generations of folk wisdom even in the absence of memetic cultivation by the Kalgachi media.

A Lywaller in his element; recounting jolly tales to small children.

With the exception of the Froyalaners and the Mishalanski, relations between Kalgachia's ethnic groups are for the most part civil and open-minded - not so much a result of humanist ideals as a general recognition that the survival of each group is absolutely dependent on the preservation of Kalgachia's collective integrity, a message driven hard by central media organs whose content abounds with dire predictions of the penury and foreign vassalage which might result from allowing Kalgachia's constituent populations to be leveraged against each other.

The Lywallers

The Lywallers, contrary to their overly-specific appellation, are descended not only from the Minarborian-era inhabitants of Lywall but also Highbloom and &zeter, these populations having been the most socially proximate to their erstwhile Rossheim sovereigns and inheriting the greater part of the social mores gifted to the world by that famed undead bloodline. As a result they are characterised by an indefatigable jollity and unsophisticated daintiness which occasionally extends into the outright childlike, lending the atmosphere of a kindergarten to even the most formal situations. This is often mistaken for flippancy or intellectual disability - generally to the misfortune of the uninitiated as Lywallers are no less capable of psychopathic cunning than any of their fellow Kalgachi, indeed the false sense of security created by their outwardly-cheerful tenor is all the more disturbing when events cause their true colours to be revealed.

Having been a favoured class in Minarboria and still celebrating their ancient association with its undead Empress, the Lywallers retain a residual degree of social advantage and can be found throughout Kalgachia, although they are mainly concentrated around the Lieutenancies of Katarsis and Jollity. Their innate gift of working well with 'the little ones' and communicating across language barriers has given the Lywallers a disproportionately-dominant presence in the halls of primary education and the diplomatic corps respectively.

The Laqi

A Laqi, sizing up an approaching traveller for extortion potential.

The Laqi are an inexplicably persistent community in Southern Benacia, originating in the ill-fated Laqi Free Republic with a sizeable diaspora migrating to eastern Ashkenatza. Although these polities have long since been swept into the chop yard of history, the Laqi have remained a coherent body of people with a consistent presence in Benacian public life to this day. The Laqi practice a social conservatism verging on tribal backwardness, although their nomadic past has imbued them with an innate wanderlust and a tendency to play as hard as they work. Their reputation as brigands and hard drinkers is mostly deserved, with the comprehensive plunder of Minarboria's fallen Shrublands by their rampaging cossack bands being instrumental to the foundation of Kalgachia as a viable sovereign state. Their most fearless sons continue to be utilised conducting black operations for the Kalgachi military.

The division of wider Laqidom by the borders established during the Benacian Reconquest has led to something of an acceleration in the inter-clan politics and shifting loyalties which have always characterised the race. In particular the ascent of the Republic of Inner Benacia on Kalgachia's southern and eastern frontiers has provoked much debate among the Kalgachi Laqi as to their precise role and power in relation to their foreign cousins. The prevailing conclusion among the Parish jirgas and partisan bands of the Kalgachi east, much advanced and promoted by central government, is that the Laqi of Kalgachia are a breed apart from their lowland neighbours on account of their mountain environment, their more comfortable standard of living and their cultural cross-fertilisation by traditional allies such as the Mishalanski which lends a more slavophilic tenor to their language and customs. This celebration of wealth, culture and a literally more elevated location has been characterised as rank snobbery by the Laqi of other states, an accusation dismissed in turn by their Kalgachi cousins as little more than petulant jealousy.

Kalgachia's Laqi are mostly concentrated in the Lieutenancies of Schlepogora and Abrek, their old Minarborian heartland.

The Nezeni

A Nezeni, giving a briefing on Lithead's biomic hazards.

The Nezeni are the descendants of the genetically-modified caste of Minarboria - and southern Shireroth before that - known as the Deep Singers. The Nezeni are no longer subject to their ancestors' constraints of selective reproduction, the absence of which is causing their progressive homogenesis within the wider unmodified population through unregulated interbreeding. Although the extra limbs, tentacles and more insectoid modifications of the past are rarely seen, modern Nezenis remain easily identifiable by their silver, blue or green complexion and lizardlike eyes. They also retain certain vestigial advantages such as enhanced hearing in the ultrasonic range, accelerated healing and almost perfect immune function - although the abandonment of the Deep Singers' guided reproduction model, leading to the unregulated combination of genotypes previously engineered out of full compatibility, has burdened the Nezeni with a rate of birth defects and gynaecological complications so high that the exact number is classified secret by the Directorate of Health and Public Welfare. Beyond cursory mentions in the context of family planning advice, the problem is rarely discussed in public but is known to have struck even the most important echelons of Kalgachi society.

As in Minarboria, the Nezeni exert a great influence over the Kalgachi church and by extension the state, most notably in the Council of Perfecti itself which is mainly composed of their kind. The horticultural holism of their ancient belief system, although less viscerally intense than they imposed on Minarboria, remains an important strand of Kalgachi philosophy and theology.

By virtue of their modified genes, the presence of the Nezeni on the Benacian continent is especially irritating to racial-supremacist elements in Shireroth and Kasterburg, their very existence being considered a casus belli by some in the former. Safety considerations have caused the Nezeni to be barred from service in the DTW diplomatic corps to avoid international incidents and Nezeni troops of the KDF are issued suicide syrettes to prevent their capture and live mutilation. In particular the repeated deconstruction of the Nationalist & Humanist line that the Nezeni are an existential threat to all humanity, with the simple observation that they represent a degradation of the Deep Singer genome by the unmodified which shows the exact reverse to be true, has been met with nominal recognition by the N&H Party leadership but the percolation of such concessions among the party's rank and file remains to be observed with any reliability.

Such lingering disdain for the Nezeni across the Benacian continent means that although all of Kalgachia's other ethnic groups have a respectable status in neighbouring states, Kalgachi society stands alone in affording the Nezeni any degree of social tolerance or equality - the principal hope for the future dignity of their race is thus invested in Kalgachia by default, effectively putting the Nezeni on a par with the mixed Kalgachi themselves in terms of committal to the state and the trust they enjoy within it. The exclusive privilege of the Nezeni in being allowed to live in the underground Lieutenancy of Lapivril, shared only with the mixed Kalgachi, is thought to be inspired by this dynamic along with other, impenetrably esoteric factors.

The social tenor of the Nezeni is characterised by a visceral, almost scandalous sensuality which might have neared the worst excesses of the Vanic State if it had not been tempered with a casual self-contentment rather than promoted aggressively among adjacent cultures (the former, more moderate modality emerging victorious among the Deep Singers in pre-Minarborian times, immediately before the second accession of Mors Nerrolar to the throne of Shireroth). The boundary between self and environment is less defined in Nezeni society - especially in their home territory where they seem in places to integrate seamlessly with the local biome akin to the hunter-gatherers of a forest garden. The Nezeni are also considered to be the undisputed masters of Kalgachi folk music with a heavy emphasis on wind instruments, birdlike rhythm and vocal mobility.

The Nezeni can mainly be found in the Lieutenancies of Lithead and Lepidopterum, which together composed the northern part of their Minarborian heartland and remains chock full of hazardous flora and fauna. Remaining functional - or indeed alive - in these areas for any length of time requires an adherence to the various strands of Nezeni folk tradition which have allowed them, and them alone, to thrive in the biome their ancestors created.

The Siyacho-Ashkenatzi

A Bergburger, brushing up on the ancient meforshim of his ancestors.

The Siyacho-Ashkenatzi, or Bergburgers as they are known in Kalgachia, originated in the Ashkenatzan provinces of Volhyria and Porolia. After the collapse of that state and a few intervening centuries of anarchic Kossar warlordery, the area was annexed by Minarboria and the tribal Kohanim of the local people were installed as the basis of a theocratic Shophate known as Siyachia, answering nominally to the Minarborian Empress. After Minarboria's collapse, the mountainous east of Siyachia was annexed by Kalgachia and saw an influx of migrants from the west seeking new oppurtunities in the nascent state. They coalesced around the mountain town of Bergburg, which quickly became the locus of their efforts and lent its name to the surrounding Lieutenancy.

Bergburgers remain mostly concentrated around Bergburg, although a large community of them exists in Oktavyan where they form a disproportionately high number of financiers at the Directorate of Labour and Economic Planning and tenured academics at the Directorate of Education and Outreach. As a community they practise a certain insularity, soaked into them by a centuries-long feedback loop of defensively intensifying religious custom and persecution by ignorant goyim. This body of ancient tradition, originally developed to glorify the original god of the Bergburgers' ancestors, has now accumulated in cultural weight to become an end in itself and survived no less then two full transitions into different belief systems, successfully securing the necessary concessions from their adopted churches to continue observing the ancient mitzvot.

The Kalgachi

Occurring within a socially privileged class, ethnic Kalgachi weddings tend to be comfortable affairs.

Kalgachi ethnicity is defined in national law as "any combination of Lywaller, Laqi, Nezeni, or Siyacho-Ashkenazi", meaning that in theory - and often in practice - it is possible for two persons to share official Kalgachi ethnicity depite having no common racial heritage. This is not considered especially troublesome in official circles, for whom the objective of forging a single Kalgachi race is secondary to that of diluting and homogenising the cultural heritage attendant upon each of Kalgachia's contributory ethnic groups in order to permanently eradicate seperatist sentiments from the population. A wide variety of official and unofficial incentives exist to accelerate this process, ranging from a statutory preference toward mixed-Kalgachi individuals in employment to the prioritisation of obstetric care for mothers of mixed-Kalgachi offspring [3] A particularly effective tactic has been the positive depiction of mixed-Kalgachi families in television soap operas with an emphasis on career paths, causing the programmes' primary viewership of gossiping grandmothers to relentlessly badger their children to marry across racial boundaries.

Theoretically a Kalgachi carrying blood from all of the country's ethnic groups would be dark-haired in appearance, owing to the overwhelming proportion of their genome originating from the swarthy folk of subtropical south-east Benacia and the Yardistani Isles. The biomantic legacy of the Deep Singers and their Nezeni descendants leaves many ethnic Kalgachis with a very slight greenish, bluish or iridescent skin hue, accompanied by a glossy sheen which is often mistaken for a sign of illness.

Although schooled in the art of humility before lesser races, the social advantages enjoyed by the ethnic Kalgachi have furnished them with a paternal attitude with regard to their fellow peoples, readily filling the void left by the demise of the nannying Minarborian aristocracy and painting those outside their well-appointed class as pitiable souls in need of charity - or, in the horticultural language of the metropolitan elite, sickly specimens in need of "grafting." Although this is less pronounced around the Nezeni or the Lywallers, many ethnic Kalgachi in the east of the country consider it their personal mission to rescue their Laqi neighbours from the culturally-ingrained creed of rampant corruption and banditry which has been the latter's birthright since the days of the Free Republic. The success of this wistful mission, despite some progress in metropolitan areas like Schlepogora city, remains woefully partial - not least due to the tendency of mixed Kalgachi of Laqi descent to marry back into full Laqi bloodlines. Elsewhere, however, the demographic expansion of the mixed Kalgachi in proportion to their single-race counterparts is occurring more quickly - the more optimistic surveys project them to become a national majority as soon as 215 AL.

Minor Groups

The Mishalanski

Mishalanski partisans, preparing papirosy for their patrol.
A Froyalanish farm labourer in the days of bondage, snatching a moment's rest while her gangmaster was distracted.

Kalgachia's Mishalanski community arrived as refugees from their original homeland during the zenith of Froyalanish rule in Shirerithian Elwynn, which saw them stripped of their collective property and subjected to mass land clearances in favour of Storish commercial interests with any objectors being subject to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. While Kalgachia accepted them on the condition that they eventually return to Mishalan under the auspices of the Konkordskaya Bratva, some found Kalgachi life to their liking and remained in the Lieutenancies of Schlepogora and Abrek where they form a minority alongside the predominant Laqi. The Mishalanski have a disproportionately high representation among the church partisans of those territories and adhere to an ergatocratic nationalism similar to that practised by the Konkordskaya Bratva, albeit with the old allusions to proletarian liberation framed in increasingly gnostic terms by persuasive immersion in the rites of the Kalgachi church.

The Froyalanish

The Froyalanish were introduced to Kalgachia after their fall from grace in Shireroth in 150 AL, first as refugees fleeing Shirerithian reprisals and later as imports from Shireroth itself; in both cases they were bound into the status of Community Service Workers until their emancipation in 161 AL, before which they formed a class of unpaid menial workers similar to the undead 'zombots' of Minarboria. Their service ranged from arduous, often fatal manual labour to more sedate work as office clerks and domestic servants, these roles broadly determined by the difference in physical brawn inherent between the male and female genders.

Since their emancipation from outright bondage, the Froyalanish nonetheless remain subject to compulsory sterilisation and a prohibition of their ancestors' Vanic religion, the preaching or practice of which is a capital crime in Kalgachia. This ensures that their inherited tendency to culturally and demographically displace those societies with whom they come into contact is prevented from occurring in Kalgachia; indeed the inability of Kalgachi Froyalaners to reproduce is projected to cause a collapse in their population toward the minority numbers of their arch-enemies, the Mishalanski, by 200 AL - further degrading to the level of statistical negligibility by 250 AL.

As they age, Kalgachia's Froyalaners are expected to progress from overwhelmingly manual roles to lower-tier administrative and service positions, aided by their marginally-increased social respectability and the receipt of a minimum wage.

Calendar

Kalgachia uses the Anno Libertatis calendar - a slowing of the Minarborian Anno Fruticis calendar by a factor of ten (with 1450 AF rendered as 145 AL, for example) devised to reduce the Temporal Haemorrhaging factor against the ascendant Ab Nortone count from ~30:1 to a more comfortable ~3:1. Like its Minarborian predecessor, the Anno Libertatis calendar takes the emergence of the shrub Minarbor (July 8th, 2013 Gregorian) as its start point, and retains the old calendar's treatment of this point as the zeroth year rather than the first. (A rather flawed year converter can be found here; use the bottom calendar for selection).

The sub-year Minarborian calendar - pegged to the Gregorian and utilised in narrative terms as a seasonal window into the appropriate Anno Libertatis year, has been adopted in Kalgachia wholesale. It has a five day week consisting of:

Helloday
Pleaseday
Rustleday
Thanksday
Byeday

A given date will always fall on a given day of the week, as said week is synchronised to a pattern of months as follows:

Winterise (30 days - 22 Dec to 20 Jan) starting on a Helloday
Winterhigh (30 days - 21 Jan to to 19 Feb) starting on a Helloday
Winterfall (29 days - 20 Feb to 20 Mar) starting on a Helloday
Springrise (31 days - 21 Mar to 20 Apr) starting on a Byeday
Springhigh (31 days - 21 Apr to 21 May) starting on a Helloday
Springfall (31 days - 22 May to 21 Jun) starting on a Pleaseday
Summerise (31 days - 22 Jun to 22 Jul) starting on a Rustleday
Summerhigh (31 days - 23 Jul to 22 Aug) starting on a Thanksday
Summerfall (31 days - 23 Aug to 22 Sep) starting on a Byeday
Harvestrise (30 days - 23 Sep to 22 Oct) starting on a Helloday
Harvesthigh (30 days - 23 Oct to 21 Nov) starting on a Helloday
Harvestfall (30 days - 22 Nov to 21 Dec) starting on a Helloday

Earth's leap day of February 29th is rendered specially as Shudderday, 9½ Winterfall.

In full, a date such as Sunday July 2nd, 2017 would equate to Rustleday Summerise 11th, 145 AL.

References

  1. ^ Wilfully misinterpreted as Balgurd, the Cedrist cradle of evil, by Shirerithian hardliners - despite the official Ketherist view of Balgurd as an entirely seperate realm of incarcarated souls constructed in secret by those Archons enjoying the status of Cedrist gods (who claim it to be the product of a daemonic hand) for the purpose of generating a steady supply of artificially-deranged 'enemy' entities whose periodic escape, rampage and violent suppression is entirely initiated and stage-managed by said Archons to justify their illegitimate influence over worldly affairs whenever it is subjected to popular question. The pillar of analytical shorthand known as 'Occam's Razor', oft rising in contention to the latter idea, is similarly denounced as the product of celestial subterfuge and witless materialism.
  2. ^ Seemingly a distorted rumour or deliberate misreport of Aktion Erheben, a selective breeding programme active in the Lywall Protectorate.
  3. ^ Or darker, more proactive measures - rumours exist an informal programme by DHPW eugenicists, usually in Laqi parishes with a high banditry rate, to occasionally terminate non-mixed foetuses with microwave beam apparatus built into ultrasound scanners. Folk avoidance of DHPW medical services arising from this rumour has caused the rate of stillbirths from undiscovered obstetric complications to rise in such areas, such a fortuitous double-bind leading some to wonder if the rumour was started by the national medical establishment itself.